Posted on

City Council OK’s change order in Shaw Ave. site maintenance program

City Council OK’s change order in Shaw Ave. site maintenance program

Proposal addresses EPA’s top monitoring recommendations

The Charles City Council on Monday approved a change order and work plan quote with GHD Services, Inc. to oversee the Site Monitoring and Maintenance Program at the Shaw Avenue Dump Site. GHD Services recently merged with Conestoga-Rovers, which has been working with the city and Zoetis and its predecessors for more than 25 years in the ongoing recovery of the Shaw Avenue site.

The dump site was contaminated by laboratory waste from Zoetis predecessor Salisbury Labs in the early 1950s and came under state and federal monitoring in the early 1990s.

“We’re having some initial costs associated with our fiveyear review on the dump site,” City Administrator Steve Diers told the council. “The work plan draft is a plan put together to address some of the new things that the EPA has asked us and Zoetis to look at.”

GHD estimates the overall change order cost for Zoetis and Charles City to be $35,250.80, with Charles City accounting for $17,625.40. The work plan proposal by GHD is expected to be another $11,425 for Charles City. All costs are budgeted from the general fund, Diers said, although the city could consider levying a small amount during the next budget session.

The council passed a work plan proposal created by GHD representative Jeffrey Coon, which he detailed in an Oct. 14 letter submitted to the council. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified four issues in their Aug. 21 Five-Year Review Report that GHD plans to address: — increasing arsenic concentrations in test well MW-2 — new recorded toxicity values for compounds called polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) — changing toxicity values for certain compounds in the groundwater (such as benzene, tolune xylene and 2-nitroaniline) — and “concerns over institutional controls and environmental covenant,” which limits policies such as allowing private drinking wells to be installed in the area, Diers said. Charles City code already prohibits residents from installing private drinking wells on their property.

The proposal includes fieldwork collections of surface water and sediment sample in the nearby recreational pond at R Campground, located next to the Shaw Avenue site. Groundwater samples and “limited” surface water and sediment samples from the Cedar River will help determine if there is a connection between arsenic levels at these sites, Coon wrote. Aquatic species sampling may also be required.

As well as providing the overall response to EPA review concerns, GHD will provide program revision and oversight of the closure of eleven test wells requested by Zoetis in February, Coon wrote in the proposal.

Zoetis only requested that eight of the test wells be closed, Elinore White, senior director of corporate communications at Zoetis, said in an email. The EPA approved three more of the wells after seeing a steady decrease or flatlining of data recorded in the wells, which is the first time a well has been closed in 25 years, Diers told the council.

“Zoetis and Charles City gained EPA approval this year for modifications to the site maintenance and monitoring plan that aim to reduce future costs while remaining protective of human health and the environment,” White wrote.

Field work completion is expected in spring 2016, resulting in a final report submission to the EPA in late summer.

Other business

The council approved a new energy management program in municipal buildings to cover growing energy costs for heating and lighting. The administrative policy outlines new construction/renovation, maintenance, insulation and energy/water conservation guidelines that public building management will be expected to follow. The policy will affect the City Hall/police department, the public library, the Chamber of Commerce, the fire department and the wastewater treatment plant.

Charles City landlords turned in registration for more than 900 individual rental residence units, Diers said, meeting the first deadline for the rental registration ordinance set in October.

The council also heard that the presentation of a new dog ordinance has been pushed back, after the pet data company working with the city quoted a minimum of $6,000 per year to use the service. The council will receive draft changes for the ordinance during next week’s workshop.

By Kate Hayden

Social Share